By Bill Adams
Preconnected crosslay (open on top) and speedlay (enclosed) hosebeds on fire apparatus have traditionally been supplied by swiveling elbows commonly called chicksans. Recessed at or just below floor level for crosslays and either from the bottom or top or sides for speedlays, swivels allow preconnects to be pulled from either side of the rig. Chicksan swivels are not always easily accessible which has some departments using a short piece of hose from the swivel to the side of the apparatus—never to be removed unless it rots or the rig is sold.
Enclosed speedlays are loaded on fully removable polypropylene or metal trays or on permanent slide-out trays. That further complicates piping. Operationally, departments preferring single stacked preconnects find hosebed widths almost too narrow to access a chicksan. Concurrently, many preferring a shoulder load or minuteman style preconnect find the beds too narrow to slide a nozzle through from side-to-side. Lately, multiple manufacturers have eliminated chicksans, opting for discharges piped to the side(s) on the rigs.